After reaching the .500 mark this week in Baltimore, the Yankees open their home season tomorrow at the Stadium against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Pitching for the Yankees will be one of their new acquisitions, Hiroki Kuroda. And Kuroda, according to Bryan Hoch of MLB.com, is worried about it.
I'll get back to that shortly. But first, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't surprised when I heard that Kuroda would be pitching the home opener. After all, the honor of pitching the home opener at Yankee Stadium usually goes to the team's ace. I assumed all through Spring Training that CC Sabathia would be pitching tomorrow afternoon. But, he's not, and I don't like it.
I was already taken aback when, early during training camp, Joe Girardi announced that, along with Sabathia, Kuroda had been guaranteed a spot in the rotation. Then, when I heard about the home opener I was shocked. Girardi, no doubt, made those decisions based on Kuroda's combined experience in Japan and MLB, which is longer than Sabathia's MLB tenure. But Kuroda is new and unproven to the Yankees, and Sabathia has been the team's ace since 2009. I think Girardi should have finagled things so that Sabathia could pitch tomorrow.
Now, to top it all off, Kuroda is worried about the start tomorrow. Through Kuroda's interpreter Bryan quoted the pitcher as saying "Rather than being excited, I'm more worried about how I'm going to perform." Yikes! I'm hoping that this is a case of something getting lost in translation, because the word "worry" worries me, frankly.
If Kuroda can get over whatever the problem is and pitch well tomorrow, all will be forgotten. If not, the word "worry" will be associated with Hiroki Kuroda for a long time.